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Quote of the day...(5 posts)

Quote of the day...Matno
Jun 30, 2003 9:42 AM
"The courts demand that every religious person must accommodate a single atheist who might be 'offended' at the favorable mention of God's name (unfavorable or blasphemous mentions, we are told, are protected by the same First Amendment that prohibits favorable mentions). But no atheist can be forced to accommodate a single religious person who might be offended by the atheist's unbelief, or who wants to be part of the pluralism and diversity about which liberals regularly speak, but which is not broad enough to embrace people who believe in God." --Cal Thomas

PS
Congrats Doug! We just had #2 about 6 weeks ago. Both girls. Not looking forward to the expense, but they sure are cute!
coolDougSloan
Jun 30, 2003 10:03 AM
Good for you! Not sleeping, I suppose? Pix?

Doug
re: Quote of the day...53T
Jul 1, 2003 8:37 AM
I don't mind disagreeing with Calvin Thomas. While the second part of his argument makes sense, the first sentence is just garbage. The courts do not demand, and have never demanded that every religious person accommodate a single atheist. The courts have demanded that a bunch of religious people acting together cannot use the offices of government to offend a single atheist.

The difference is huge, and old Cal knew that when he wrote this, but it didn't stop him from sounding like an ass as he had a point to make.

Unless you are an atheist, you can never know how disappointing and utterly wrong-headed it appears when an office of government is used to advance the teachings of a religious organization. The founders understood this (perhaps closet atheists themselves) and took the appropriate steps to prevent the use of mysticism in the conduct of public affairs. Let's honor their memory by keeping the church separate from the government.
re: Quote of the day...Matno
Jul 2, 2003 2:22 AM
Referring to "God" in public places (like schools and court rooms) is not making a law "respecting an establishment of religion." (Posting the ten commandments probably crosses the line, but shouldn't offend any upstanding citizens). Forbidding such reference to God has no bearing on the "separation of church and state" - a term which originally came from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson and is not found in the Constitution or any other law. (In fact, originally, that amendment didn't even apply to state laws). When the first amendment was written, the idea that someone would not have SOME belief in god, in whatever form, was ludicrous. Although atheists have every right to not believe in God, the first amendment was never intended to remove all mention of God from any and all public places. Forbidding the recitation of the pledge of allegiance (including the "one nation, under God" part) is indeed demanding that "religious people accommodate a single atheist." (There are very few cases in which more than one or maybe two people have filed suits against such things). Incidentally, the daughter of the kook in California who filed suit on this issue not too long ago has openly said that she DOES recite the Pledge of Allegiance voluntarily, because she believes in God.

Of course, where the debate seems to be the strongest is in schools. The concept of federally funded public education system would have been equally ludicrous to the Founding Fathers of our country. It was and still is expressly unconstitutional. I have no problem with state run public education, but federal education is just plain wrong. No wonder it's so lousy.
re: Quote of the day...53T
Jul 2, 2003 5:48 AM
I'm familiar with the text of the Constitution, but I still like the idea of keeping the church and state separate. I agree with Jefferson (who today is thought to have been a theist, or maybe even less).

Despite the direction in which you would like to take the argument, the question never revolves around removing the mention of God or the reference to God. In the courts and in learned circles, the issue is the government compelling individuals to acknowlege a god, or at least denying them the ability to express thier dis-belief in a mystical source of knowlege and wisdom. For instance: If I am in a public meeting (say town meeting) and an official begins to outline a policy that is racist as the will of the body, I have the right and responsibility to object and state my views. If that same official starts to implore the help of God to solve a fiscal problem, what do I do? Sit quietly and risk being party to what I and many other see as lunacy? Object and risk being chastized as a hethen? This is a no-win situation. This is why we keep religion out of politics, government and government sponsored public activities.

As far as the ten commandments, the second one is an abridgement of free speach rights, for Christ's sake.

The founders found it ludicrous that anyone would not be some sort of Christian, despite the large number of Jews and Muslims in Europe at the time.

And another thing you can't support your argument with fiction. Even if it were logical that striking the phrase "under God" is tantamount to accomodation of a single athiest, it hasn't happened yet so you can hardly point to it as support of Cal's or your argument. Besides the government has no intention of banning the phrase "under God" but simply to remove a government's tendanct to compell citicens to recite such a "prayer". It's stricly analgous to a condemnation of the Spanish Inquisition's requirement of a affirmation of Christian faith.

As far as federal public education, I'm not sure I understand you. My local public school district here in Massachusetts recieves only about 1.5% of its funnding from Washington. What exactly do you mean by federal public education? Washington DC schools?